All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is one of those books that you must read.
The book was first published in 2014 and received lots of acclaim: winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list.
Here’s the synopsis:
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
After 56 printings of the hardcover edition, there are now more than 4 million copies of All the Light We Cannot See in circulation across all formats in North America alone. Film rights were acquired by 20th Century Fox.
I’ve been meaning to read this for quite some time. I feel with historical fiction, especially with the ones in WWII, you really have to be in the right mindset for it. There will be distributing content and sometimes they are hard to read. But just because there’s difficult content, doesn’t mean that it should go unread. If anything, that’s probably more of a reason to read it.
More about the author: Anthony Doerr was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the author of the story collections The Shell Collector and Memory Wall, the memoir Four Seasons in Rome, and the novels About Grace and All the Light We Cannot See.
Check back soon for a review and book club questions!